I’ve read that disagreements over money–how it’s earned, spent, saved, and invested–is the top cause of stress in marriage. Whether or not financial issues are at the top of your list, these tough economic times are enough to make anyone’s head spin. Between trying to invest wisely with the volatility of the stock market, the fear of a pay cut or job loss, and questions over how to reduce debt, it’s no wonder we’re receiving so many calls from families seeking wise counsel.
Jean and I were married August 24, 1986. We started with a bang—with lots of travel, the thrill of being newlyweds, and the dreams of spending a lifetime together. While I cannot pinpoint with any accuracy the date when we reached rock bottom, the dark clouds moved in sometime during our second year of marriage. I remember that night all too well. I had stepped into the bathroom to brush my teeth as we readied ourselves for bed.
Next Sunday is Super Bowl XLIII, the most watched football event of the year. And I’m bummed. I’ll be in Australia on business. Due to the time zone differences, I’ll probably miss the Pittsburgh Steelers going head-to-head with the Arizona Cardinals for the NFL World Championship. For a number of reasons I think it’ll be quite the game. Clearly the underdog, Arizona is hungry for the win–this isthe first time the Cardinals have made it to the big game.
Like millions of people around the world, I watched the inauguration of President Barack Obama earlier this week with interest. Whether or not you agree with his positions on the issues and there–are many that concern me deeply–truly the world witnessed history in the making. Scanning the faces of those in the crowd, I saw a joy and happiness that parallel something I witnessed in South Africa when Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, was elected.
A week before Christmas last year, America lost a great statesman, an inspiring conservative thinker, and a steadfast advocate of the traditional family. I’m referring to my friend Paul M. Weyrich, co-founder of the Heritage Foundation and Chairman of the Free Congress Foundation It’s likely you’ve never heard his name. Paul was like that. He was the kind of man content to labor behind the scenes in Washington, D.C. in defense of the values conservatives cherish.
At age eight, Mark* was dying from a congenital heart disorder. A battery of diagnostic tests revealed that the malformation of his heart was irreparable. Mark’s doctors informed his parents that nothing short of a heart transplant would save his life. Worse, Mark didn’t have much time to live. A proper organ donor had to be found, and fast.
Meanwhile, at the same hospital where Mark awaited a heart transplant, medics rushed another young boy, Alex*, into the emergency ward.
During our Christmas vacation, Jean and I packed the suitcases, planned the route, and piled into the minivan. Anticipation filled the air as the kids were strapped into their car seats like astronauts preparing for liftoff. With the house buttoned up, the mail stopped for a week, and a prayer for safety shared, off we went on a thousand mile journey to Jean’s parents’ home in Los Angeles.
Everything was going smoothly for a couple of hours .
In Dr. Dobson’s original film series Where’s Dad? he made a point that struck a chord with me all of these years, probably because I’m a father of two young boys. Specifically, Dr. Dobson described the difference between spending quantity time and quality time with our children. More often than not, Dr. Dobson heard parents make the comment that they just want to give their son or daughter quality time–when in reality our kids want quantity time.
As the clock runs out on 2008, just about everyone is assembling a Top Ten list featuring the most popular movies, CDs, books, restaurants, and news stories of the year. You name it, there seems to be a list for it. I figured it might be fun to put together a list of my Top Ten blog posts of the year, based upon the number of comments they generated. Here’s what I found, with No. 1 being the most popular post of 2008:
I love hearing from constituents like you. Today, I thought I’d invite you to read three playful letters that brightened my day. This first gem is from a mother whose son was in kindergarten where he was just learning to read. Here’s what happened:
“I remember picking-up my son from school one day. I had been reading one of Dr. Dobson’s books at the time and had it on the car seat next to me. My precocious youngster carefully sounded out the title.